Swiss food giant Nestlé has been suspended from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) for breaching a code of conduct, failing to submit progress reports properly. The RSPO, the world’s largest palm oil certification organization, keeps track of its members’ efforts to promote sustainable palm oil and expects yearly progress reports from members.
But Nestlé has committed breaches to the RSPO’s code of conduct and has therefore been suspended. And on top of this, Nestlé has failed to pay its €2,000 (US$2,317) membership fee.
The suspension means that Nestlé runs the risk of not being able to use claims about certified sustainable palm oil claim on its products.
An RSPO statement reads: “We regret to inform you that membership of Nestlé with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has been suspended, in accordance to Clause 5.5 of the RSPO Code of Conduct for Members 2017, and as approved by the RSPO Board of Governors at its meeting on 27 June 2018.”
“The reason for this suspension is due to breaches of the RSPO Statutes and Code of Conduct for Members 2017, outlined as follows: Nestlé has not submitted the ACOP report for 2016, and for 2017 submitted the ACOP report without a time-bound plan.”
The RSPO also says that despite being given the opportunity to complete its ACOP report for 2017, Nestlé “declined to submit a time-bound plan.”
“We would also like to notify that Nestlé has unpaid overdue membership fee of €2,000 and non-payment of membership fees is a breach of the RSPO Statutes as per Clause 8(b)(ii) of the RSPO Statutes 2017.
The RSPO has granted Nestlé 30 days (from June 27) to communicate its suspension to its customers, thus allowing them to seek alternatives.
“After this 30 day period, Nestlé certificates will automatically cease to be valid and trading of CSPO will no longer be available via PalmTrace,” adds the RSPO.
Only when the RSPO is satisfied with Nestlé’s efforts to comply will the suspension be lifted. FoodIngredientsFirst has asked Nestlé for more information, specifically to explain its reasons for breaching the RSPO code of conduct and having overdue membership fees.